12 Nov

Daily Watch – Buhari unveils his cabinet, Senate probes TSA

  • President Muhammadu Buhari has finally sworn in his cabinet, and announced portfolios for the ministers. Buhari named himself Minister of Petroleum, while Ibe Kachikwu, who also doubles up as the NNPC GMD will support him as Minister of State. Some key portfolios are Abubakar Malami – Justice; Brig-Gen Muhammad Dan Ali – Defence; Adamu Adamu – Education; Kemi Adeosun – Finance; Okechukwu Enelama – Industry, Trade and Investment; Senator Chris Ngige – Labour and Employment; Senator Udo Udoma – Budget and National Planning; Babatunde Fashola – Power, Works and Housing; and Kayode Fayemi – Solid Minerals. A highlight of the new cabinet is the streamlining of some ministries: Aviation has been collapsed under Transportation, Police has collapsed under Interior, Power merged with Works & Housing.
  • The Senate has ordered its committee on finance, banking, other financial institutions and ‎public account to carry out a thorough investigation on the management of the TSA. In a motion co-sponsored by 35 senators, Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, had alleged that there were underhand practices in the management of the TSA. Melaye said the CBN was the sole institution mandated to collect and disburse money on behalf of the federal government.
  • The number of contributors to the Contributory Pension Scheme has risen from 1.31 million in 2006 to 6.74 million people in the 3rd quarter of 2015. According to Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, PENCOM’s DG, the commission is in the process of introducing the CPS to the informal sector. PENCOM will use micro-pension as a financial programme for the provision of pension services to self-employed persons and informal sector workers. It is hoped that at least 20 million informal sector workers and self-employed persons will join the scheme in the next four years.
  • Japanese automaker, Isuzu Motors Limited, has finalised an arrangement with a Nigerian firm, Kewalram Chanrai Group, to set up a truck assembly plant in the country. Already, the auto company said construction work had started on the assembly plant site in Lagos.
    The two firms said at a joint press conference in Lagos that the first set of locally assembled Isuzu trucks would be rolled out in the second quarter of next year. According to the Deputy Managing Director, Kewalram Chanrai Group, Victor Eburajolo, the project would be fully financed by a subsidiary of the group, Koncept Auto Centre Limited, with technical support coming from Isuzu Motors of Japan.
  • Cross River state and Thai firm Thai-Africa Corporation, are collaborating to build a rice city in the state. The project will have a solar mediated and automated rice seedling, a nursery propagation centre, rice plantation with irrigation infrastructure and mill including packaging and distribution. The centre will also have an Agriculture Training Centre, which will oversee the development of various economic crop projects including but not limited to oil palm, sugar cane, cassava, maize, soya beans and more. It will also possess a full mechanised site clearing, planting, weeding and harvesting equipment.